How Water Damage Affects Home Insurance


What Damage Is Covered And What Is Not?

Owning your own home is a big deal, and the responsibility of taking care of it is a top priority. One of the most important things you can do to protect your home is to purchase homeowners insurance. However, it’s always a good idea to look over your insurance policy, because depending on the source of the damage, you may not be covered. Some of the most common home insurance claims are due to water damage. Typically, water damage is covered by your home insurance policy, but insurance companies are very specific on the types of damages they cover. Here is how water damage can affect your home insurance. SEE ALSO: 7 Essential Policies You Need For Beach Home Insurance

Sudden And Accidental Water Damage

Water damage that is caused by a sudden or accidental gush of water is usually covered by homeowners insurance. This type of water damage can occur from:
  • Malfunctioning appliances
  • Faulty plumbing
  • Busted pipes
  • Leaky roof
Of course, the water damage must be a direct result of a sudden or accidental issue, with no outside effect from you or any other source. If, for instance, the leaky roof was caused by a hidden pipe that had already been leaking, the damages will not be covered. Also, every insurance company may have slightly different views on what they consider “sudden” or “accidental,” so make sure you are aware of exactly what your policy covers.

Water Damage Due To Neglect And Normal Wear And Tear

If the water damage is caused by lack of attention, everyday use, or an earlier problem, it will not be covered by your insurance policy. This type of damage comes from:
  • Pipe corrosion
  • Drainage issues
  • Large water spills
  • Ground water seepage
Water damage caused by these issues are not covered because they are considered preventable. If you don’t properly maintain your home—even if you were unaware of any problems to begin with—your insurance company will not cover any damages. In this case, the only way to avoid getting stuck with the cleanup, is to catch any damage before it occurs. Performing regular maintenance inspections and fixing any problem as soon as it pops up will likely save you in the long run.


Mold can develop within days of water damage, and can spread throughout the room if not treated right away. The removal of mold can be costly, and when it comes to your homeowners insurance, the coverage is, once again, conditional. If the mold was caused by water damage covered by your policy, the removal of mold will also be covered. Never fear, however, since most insurance companies offer additional coverage specifically for mold removal, no matter the cause, which you can add to your policy just in case. SEE ALSO: Everything You Need To Know About Insuring Historic Homes

Your Home Insurance Policy

The coverage for water damage can be confusing, especially since each home insurance policy is different. If you are still unsure of what is covered, go over your policy or check with your insurance company as soon as possible. Knowing what is and isn’t covered will help ease your mind in case water damage does occur.
Date of original publication:
Updated on: November 10, 2015

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